Background: Even though IgG4-related disease has gained increased attention worldwide, the diagnosis remains challenging. IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis (IgG4-SC) is not well described in the western hemisphere and may mimic cholangiocarcinoma (CC), especially when occurring without other symptoms such as, e.g. concurrent pancreatitis or retroperitoneal fibrosis. We present a case to add further information to the diagnosis and treatment of this challenging disease.
Case report: A 60-year-old male patient presented with painless jaundice. Prior medical history showed diabetes mellitus type I, high blood pressure, and deep vein thrombosis. Diagnostic investigations were strongly suspicious of a Klatskin tumor, although biopsies were inconclusive. The tumor marker Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) was elevated. Prior to the recommended surgery, the patient had two second opinions in two different university hospitals, both arguing for surgery as well. The patient received hilar resection with right hemihepatectomy. During the postoperative course, some major complications occurred, i.e. recurrent pleural effusion, abscess in the liver resection area, sepsis, ileus, and restricted liver metabolism. Treatment with prednisolone did not show any improvement. Approximately 3 months after surgery, the patient died in consequence of acute respiratory failure. Histology showed no signs of CC, but IgG4-SC could be diagnosed.
Conclusion: In the case of preoperative signs of CC, differential diagnosis of IgG4-SC needs to be considered, in particular, in cases with missing histologic proof of malignant disease.
Keywords: IgG4; IgG4-related disease; autoimmune biliary disease; cholangiocarcinoma; sclerosing cholangitis.
©2018 Mittelstaedt A., et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston.
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